Lakeview, Montcalm County at odds over recycling program

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 9:01 am on Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Lakeview Village Council removed two open air containers full of cardboard from the village’s recycling center, prompting Montcalm County officials to end the program altogether, according to Lakeview Village Manager James Freed. — Courtesy photo


LAKEVIEW — Montcalm County is no longer offering the village of Lakeview a recycling program, according to the village manager.

The village and the county entered into an agreement in August 2012 to install four recycling receptacles in the municipal parking lot next to the village post office, according to Lakeview Village Manager James Freed. The four green containers were available to village residents, as well as residents from surrounding townships and other areas with unmanned service centers.

“Much discussion took place during the agreement process on ensuring the site would remain clean and blight free, as it was located in a highly visible location in the village,” Freed said. “The county agreed.”

Freed said while the program has worked well over the past year, a problem arose in August when the county placed two bins to collect cardboard at the site without authorization from the village.

“These open air containers with no sides are blighted and when it rains creates wet paper product around the parking lot,” Freed said. “We received numerous complaints from village residents about the cardboard bins, their appearance and lack of proper dumping schedule. The council was very specific about what got placed there 12 months ago, as was every other community. It’s bait and switch. Agreements matter.”

The Lakeview Village Council voted 7-0 Monday night to remove the unauthorized bins, leaving the four originally agreed to enclosed bins. Freed said he was then informed by someone from the Montcalm County Resource Recovery

Office that all bins, including the four original bins, will be removed, effectively closing the site.

“The president and council are disappointed the county was unwilling to abide by the original agreement, which so effectively served the community,” Freed said.

Resource Recovery Coordinator Jacob Rytlewski declined to comment, other than to say that the issue will be discussed at the Resource Recovery Committee meeting at 3 p.m. Sept. 19 in Stanton.

Freed said he believes the county placed extra bins at the site because they can’t afford to make enough runs to empty the four enclosed bins.

“The recycling program’s not sustainable, financially,” Freed said. “They can’t afford to empty the containers on a regular basis.”

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